As we talked we came to realise that there were up to eight quite distinct phases of the Cafe were different types of conversation took place. This was something I had not seen before. Here are eight potential conversations:
- Conversation with a friend at a pre-Cafe meeting and on way to Cafe on the tube
- Conversation during the pre-Cafe networking session
- Speed networking conversation at the start of the Cafe
- Conversation in small groups as part of the Cafe
- Conversation in whole group as part of the Cafe
- Conversation during the networking session after the end of Cafe as people are leaving
- Conversation at a local pub after the Cafe
- Conversation on the tube or train on the way home
That's a lot of conversations and each one is quite different. David's particular interest was the post-Cafe conversations as he felt this was the most interesting and productive phase. People are at their most relaxed and unfocused and thus the conversations often took an unexpected direction. People were also more likely to be themselves and not act out their job role.
Quite a fascinating insight. Its got both me and David thinking about how the nature of all of these conversations might be improved.